Tag Archives: restoration

Can you help this heritage project? Using GlobalGiving to restore a kullë house in Gjirokastra, Albania

The City of Stone’s iconic kullë houses have a new ally in GlobalGiving, an online fundraising site that is harnessing the power of social media to raise funds for charitable projects around the world. Adventures in Preservation’s restoration of a kullë house in Gjirokastra, Albania, is one of the projects competing in GlobalGiving’s Open Challenge for April.

During the Challenge, AiP has 30 days to raise a total of US$4,000 from 50 different people for the project.

Adventures in Preservation (AiP), a non-profit organization whose mission is saving the world’s architectural heritage by using historic preservation as a tool for positive change, has long been searching for ways to attract donors and sponsors to help fund its preservation projects. (The volunteers who participate in AiP programs do pay a fee, but those fees cover only a fraction of total project costs.)

How GlobalGiving Works

In January AiP discovered the GlobalGiving website (probably via Twitter!), which is the primary tool the GlobalGiving Foundation uses to attract donations from individual donors. AiP applied for and was accepted to the April Open Challenge. Each of the 125+ organizations competing in the Challenge must raise a total of US$4,000 from 50 people in order to “earn” a permanent spot on the GlobalGiving website. There are prizes for the organizations that raise the most money, attract the most donors, and have the most shares on Facebook.

Inclusion on the GlobalGiving website is key to the project’s success. Listing will draw attention to the plight of buildings in Gjirokastra, a World Heritage Site, and also help raise funds for the restoration, which is being accomplished in two ways. First, on-site training and restoration work at the Skenduli House, and second, encouraging the trainees to use their training and new-found skills and knowledge to restore other kullë houses.

The main focus for AiP at this point is reaching the 50-donor target. Donors thus far have been very generous and AiP is closer to meeting the donations target than the donor target.

See the project (link http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/preservation-training-for-economic-development-albania/) to track AiP’s progress.

If AiP wins the challenge, it will open more funding opportunities, including exposure to corporate sponsors and the ability to list additional projects on the GlobalGiving sites. AiP has a long waiting list of projects that are ready to ramp up once there is funding.

GlobalGiving has given AiP the chance to focus the world’s attention on cultural heritage preservation – and the fact that historic preservation is a very green, very sustainable way of providing assistance to communities in need. AiP’s project to restore a kullë house in Gjirokastra is the only GlobalGiving project in Albania and the only one using historic preservation as its primary mechanism for change. We hope there will soon be others!



John Leeke V-log: Steam Paint Removal

In this installment of his Voices of the Past Video-log, John Leeke demonstrates using steam to remove heavy paint build up from wood surfaces. Steam paint removal softens the paint film so it can be more easily scraped away. It works well with the heavy paint buildup commonly found on the exterior of older buildings during house restoration and historic preservation projects.

This method has significant advantages over mechanical scraping and shaving, chemical stripping and the dry-heat of torch, hot-air gun and infra-red lamp methods:

  • Significantly reduces the risk of starting a building fire compared to dry heat methods.
  • Helps control the lead-health risk issue because it is an inherently damp process and eliminates the lead-fume risk.
  • No fumes from heat decomposition of binders in the old paint as with dry heat methods.
  • Relatively low setup cost compared to dry heat and shaver methods.
  • Lower operating and supply costs than chemical paint removal.
  • Lower residue disposal costs than chemical paint removal.